The best gift of all

It’s Thanksgiving, and we’ve entered the holiday season, the time of the year when we traditionally express our love for friends and family by giving them gifts. Giving should be easy, but we all know it sometimes isn’t. Some of the people on our lists are really hard to shop for, and we figure it’s the same for our readers. We’re here to help.

In this issue of our monthly “Shop Local” magazine, we offer some gift suggestions for several types of people who might fit in that “hard-to-shop-for” category—the grandfather who says he has everything he needs, for example, or the fashionista roommate with a taste for expensive designer clothes. The idea is that our suggestions on how to please these hypothetical gift recipients may spark your imagination and help you shop for the difficult people on your list.

And, if you’re someone who prefers to hand-make your gifts, figuring that expresses your affection and appreciation better than anything else, we provide a list of local businesses that will help you do so. Whether it’s making jewelry, knitting a scarf or crafting an original ceramic piece, we’ve got some terrific ideas for you.

As you shop for presents, we hope you remember that mindful shopping is a gift not only to the people on your list, but also to the community as a whole. By mindful shopping, we mean understanding that, by buying from locally owned businesses, and especially by buying locally made products from those businesses, your purchases add to the prosperity of this community. The money you spend stays in the community, circulating from person to person, from business to business, to the benefit of all of us.

These are tough economic times. We’re fortunate in Butte County to have a solid economic base in agriculture, but other economic sectors—including retail—are hurting. Help out your business-owning friends and neighbors by shopping locally as much as possible. We’ll all benefit, including you.